Gaggia Classic Pro Review

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The Gaggia Classic espresso machine has been around for as long as many of us have been drinking coffee.

Since the release of the original machine in 1991, Gaggia has released several iterations, including the Gaggia Classic Pro, which we will be looking at today.

It’s often the first machine to be brought up when people new to espresso are wondering which machine to buy.

We agree that it is one of the best options for someone just starting out in the espresso game, or for those looking for a great value option. For these reasons, it features on our list of the best home espresso machines.

Below, we take a closer look at this popular espresso machine to help you decide if it’s the right option for you.

Overview

The Gaggia Classic Pro was made in Italy and is generally considered one of the best entry level machines you can buy.

It’s a great machine for anyone interested in taking the first steps into home espresso. It comes with a stainless steel boiler and a 3-way solenoid valve for more efficient extraction. It’s also extremely easy to use and clean.

The Classic has been around for a long time, but this version has some upgrades, notably the commercial grade steam wand (discussed later).

With these recent upgrades, it provides users with the features of a commercial machine at only a fraction of the cost.

What’s in the box?

Gaggia Classic Pro Coffee Machine

The machine itself has a beautiful stainless steel design that is solid yet compact in construction.

It features a 2.1 litre removable water tank and removable drip tray. The Classic Pro weighs 7.25kg and has an anodised aluminium single boiler that heats up super quick.

A cup warmer sits on top of the machine and can hold 2 – 3 cups.

Portafilter and Filter baskets

In addition to the commercial-sized 58mm portafilter, the Gaggia Classic Pro comes with two single wall filter baskets (1 cup and 2 cups). Note that the single basket can also be used for coffee pods.

It also comes with a double pressurised filter basket, which Gaggia calls the “Crema Perfetta” filter. This is designed to help beginners get good shots with crema, even if they don’t have the perfect grind size or tamp pressure.

This is a great feature for newbies who don’t know how to finely tune their grind size yet. You could even use this basket with supermarket pre-ground coffee, although we always recommend that an espresso machine is paired with a high-quality coffee grinder.

Doser and tamper

The Gaggia Classic Pro comes with a ground coffee doser and a tamper. The doser dispenses dry grounds into your portafilter, saving you from getting messy with the grounds.

Note that it doesn’t come with a milk jug so this will need to be purchased separately.

Ease of Use

If you’re looking for a machine that can do everything, including tamping and pulling shots for you, then this machine isn’t for you.

But if you want something that will allow you to develop your barista skills, then this is a great place to start.

For those looking for hands-on learning experience, this coffee maker gives you total control over each step of the brewing process.

It comes with three buttons – one for powering it on, one for brewing and another for dispensing steam/hot water. To operate the steam wand, users press the brew switch and steam switch at the same time.

The light underneath indicates when each of the functions is ready to be used.

It’s a no-nonsense machine that lets you make a delicious cup of coffee with ease. If you prefer your coffee short, long, or with milk, you can do it all easily with the Gaggia Classic Pro. It’s super easy to use, and you can’t go wrong with its simple interface.

In saying that, this is a semi-automatic machine, so there will be a bit of a learning curve if you haven’t used one before. It could take several weeks of trial and error before you’re creating cafe-quality flat whites.

You will have to learn proper dosing, tamping and milk steaming techniques on your own or with help of online tutorials.

Build Quality

The body of the Gaggia Classic Pro is stainless steel, a feature usually found only on more expensive machines.

The machine feels nice and solid and doesn’t move around on the bench while in operation as some other entry espresso machines do.

The drip tray is made of plastic that fits snugly into place and blends in nicely with the overall shape and aesthetic of the machine.

Steam wand

This espresso machine comes with a professional grade stainless steel steam wand. This is the same style as you’ll see at your local coffee shop and allows for cafe-quality milk frothing.

It features a two hole steam tip and you can use it to create some nice textured milk for latte art.

The commercial steam wand is a significant upgrade from earlier versions of this machine which came with a plastic “Panarello” style frother.

Panarello-style frothers may be good for users who want to make bubbly milk foam quickly. But customers who like flat whites or lattes and want smooth, velvety microform, or to practice latte art, would be left wanting with this inferior design.

Note that because this machine is a single boiler, you can only steam milk before or after you’ve pulled your espresso shot.

3-way solenoid valve

The Gaggia Classic Pro Coffee Machine features a 3-way solenoid valve that controls the water pressure inside the filter-holder.

While the brewer is working, you can be sure the water is evenly distributed over the coffee grounds.

When it’s time to stop brewing, excess water is flushed out of the group head after extraction. This dries out the coffee puck very well, making it easier to remove and clean.

This reduces the amount of residual water left in the group head, allowing you to make your next shot more quickly. It also helps reduce puddling on your countertop and makes cleaning easier as well.

15 Bar Pump

The Gaggia Classic Pro has 15 Bars of Pump pressure, which is the industry standard for espresso machines.

It is important to note that higher is not always better. While it may seem great to have an espresso machine with 20 or 30 bars, this would be way too much pressure and it would hurt the taste of the coffee.

Cleaning

Cleaning the Gaggia Classic Pro is a straightforward process — rinse out the portafilter and steam wand, and empty the drip tray, which is adequately sized so shouldn’t need frequent emptying.

In addition, the 3-way solenoid valve allows you to knock the coffee grounds out of the portafilter into your knock box with no difficulty.

Although the descaling process is time-consuming, it’s not difficult. Gaggia’s descaling instructions include 20 steps, but are easy to follow.

Pros and cons of the Gaggia classic pro

Pros

  • Solid, premium construction
  • Powerful boiler
  • Professional steam wand
  • Easy to use
  • Range of portafilter baskets including a pressurized basket
  • Chrome plated brass portafilter
  • 2.1L water reservoir

Cons

  • Single boiler
  • Small
  • Learning curve for semi-automatic machines
  • Time-consuming descaling process
  • Lacks PID temperature control
  • Lacks auto pre-infusion

Conclusion

In conclusion, we recommend the Gaggia classic pro for anyone looking for a high-quality entry-level espresso maker that is easy to use.

If you’re looking for an inexpensive home espresso machine that lets you pull beautiful espresso shots, look no further than the Gaggia Classic Pro.

Featuring a commercial-grade steam wand with 2 spouts, you can make great latte art or just pull your own shot of flavourful espresso.

If you’re looking for alternatives, we recommend checking out the Breville Barista Express, Rancilio Silvia, and Breville Bambino Plus.